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B.C. NDP fined $4,000 for late filing of political donations

NDP Leader John Horgan gestures while standing in front of a sign reading "Ignored By Christy Clark" during a healthcare related campaign stop in Kamloops, B.C., on Tuesday May 2, 2017. A provincial election will be held on May 9.
NDP Leader John Horgan gestures while standing in front of a sign reading "Ignored By Christy Clark" during a healthcare related campaign stop in Kamloops, B.C., on Tuesday May 2, 2017. A provincial election will be held on May 9. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

The B.C. NDP has been fined $4,000 by Elections B.C. for late filing of money raised at four political fundraising events last year.

The B.C. Election Act requires the date, time, location and ticket price of specified fundraisers to be filed at least seven days before the event. The province’s elections overseer says the NDP failed to follow those rules in four separate cases in 2017.

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“For four events, we filed a little bit late. We’ve accepted the findings of Elections B.C. We’ll pay the penalty of course. And we’ve strengthened our training and reporting systems so it isn’t happening in the future,” said NDP spokesperson Glen Sanford.

“This was right at the beginning of the legislation and things are now going really well.”

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The B.C. government overhauled the province’s rules around political donations, including stricter reporting rules and a ban on union and corporate donations.

The fines were as follows:

  • $2,000 for a barbecue fundraiser with Maple Ridge-Mission MLA Bob D’Eith on Oct. 21 in Maple Ridge. The tickets cost up to $125 and the event raised $6,955 for the party.
  • $1,000 for “An Evening of Drinks and Friends” with Municipal Affairs Minister Selina Robinson on Oct. 27 in Coquitlam. The tickets cost up to $100 and the event raised $5,855.
  • $500 for the “Sparkle and Shine” event with Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Lisa Beare on Nov. 18 in Maple Ridge. The event tickets were $75, 49 tickets were sold and the event raised $3,830.
  • $500 for “A Festive Dinner” with Premier John Horgan on Dec. 3 in Kelowna. There were 88 tickets sold, at a top price of $125 and the event raised $12,678.

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Elections B.C, said the issue was human error and determined the governing party was not deliberately trying to circumvent the Election Act.

“The party has also communicated to Elections B.C. additional steps it has taken to prevent such instances of non-compliance from occurring in the future,” reads a press release from Elections B.C.

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“During the process of determining whether or not these cases warranted administrative monetary penalties, the BC NDP cooperated fully with Elections B.C.”

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